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Thread: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

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    Default Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Stumbled upon this:
    http://www.donsmaps.com/canoedesigns.html



    There are lines and offsetts as well.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Nice find.

    Nick

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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Very cool......Thanks

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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Absolutely
    "Yeah, well, that's just, like your opinion man"
    -The Dude-

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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Easy..... First, get a really big log. Next, carve away everything that doesn't look like part of one of these beautiful canoes. A bit of paint and maybe a little decorative carving and you're done!

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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    Easy..... First, get a really big log. Next, carve away everything that doesn't look like part of one of these beautiful canoes. A bit of paint and maybe a little decorative carving and you're done!
    Actually, I think you skipped a step. Often the hollowed-out log was softened with hot water and steam, then spread to a beam wider than the diameter of the log!

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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    some of those traditional canoes were in the order of 50 feet long......
    Captain Voss Tilikum was 38 feet long. He picked it up and converted it for voyaging raising the sides and putting a long shallow ballast keel along the bottom.

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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Quote Originally Posted by runswithsizzers View Post
    Actually, I think you skipped a step. Often the hollowed-out log was softened with hot water and steam, then spread to a beam wider than the diameter of the log!
    That's how it was done over here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kW7BdhOZZ_c but we don't have the diameters you have.

    /Mats
    My blog about my time as a boat building student, a rigger apprentice and Journeyman http://kaptenmohsart.blogspot.se/

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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Quote Originally Posted by runswithsizzers View Post
    Actually, I think you skipped a step. Often the hollowed-out log was softened with hot water and steam, then spread to a beam wider than the diameter of the log!
    That is discussed in the Donsmaps linked piece.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Quote Originally Posted by gilberj View Post
    some of those traditional canoes were in the order of 50 feet long......
    Captain Voss Tilikum was 38 feet long. He picked it up and converted it for voyaging raising the sides and putting a long shallow ballast keel along the bottom.
    How long till one of you Left Coast blokes bangs together a Tilikum II and pops in on the R2AK with it?

    come on son, you folks got to step it up!... just sayin'

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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Thanks for posting this!

    I plan to visit Vancouver Island in a couple of weeks. Can anyone suggest museums, locations where I can look at some of these boats?

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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Quote Originally Posted by runswithsizzers View Post
    Thanks for posting this!

    I plan to visit Vancouver Island in a couple of weeks. Can anyone suggest museums, locations where I can look at some of these boats?
    You can go for a paddle in one of them here: https://www.indigenousbc.com/blog/du...family-affair/
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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Quote Originally Posted by JimD View Post
    You can go for a paddle in one of them here: https://www.indigenousbc.com/blog/du...family-affair/
    Wow! thanks for the tip!

    In case anyone else is interested, the links provided in the above blog (dated 2014) are no longer active. But I was able to track down a current link for the T'ashii Paddle School:
    https://tofinopaddle.com/products/coastal-canoe-tour/ and
    https://tofinopaddle.com/products/meares-island-canoe-tour/
    Last edited by runswithsizzers; 05-23-2018 at 08:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Ed Monk and Archie Binns designed this "Nootka Sailor" as a modern take on a Makah boat in 1962:

    NOOTKA SAILOR~~1962 by R_ Scully.jpg

    Picture credit to the Saltwater People Historical Society Blog: http://saltwaterpeoplehistoricalsoci...iler-1962.html
    Last edited by RainierHooker; 05-31-2018 at 11:05 AM.

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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    One of the best on the subject is The Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America

    Adney, Edwin Tappan; Chapelle, Howard I.
    https://repository.si.edu/handle/10088/9991

    Alan
    https://sites.google.com/site/helium12sofsailboat/

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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Quote Originally Posted by runswithsizzers View Post
    Thanks for posting this!

    I plan to visit Vancouver Island in a couple of weeks. Can anyone suggest museums, locations where I can look at some of these boats?
    Too late for your trip, but the Haida canoe that is posted is located in Vancouver at the UBC Museum of Anthropology. Made by Bill Reid (Maker), Beau Dick (Technician), Simon Dick (Technician) and Gary Edenshaw (Technician) in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada during 1984

    Identification Number Nb1.737
    Cedar wood, paint, metal and glaze
    Height 1.0 m, length 7.25 m, beam 1.08 m
    Made in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

    It was commissioned by the museum. Bill Reid is the primary artist. This is a fine museum with a truly awesome Northern Pacific Northwest collection. I am interested in the canoes of the Salish Sea, but unfortunately the MOA has no Salish canoes. Not as spectacular as the Haida, Coast Salish designs are more subtle; more human in scale. The Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria has my Coast Salish canoes, but I won't be going to visit them for another month. And then I will have gotten special permission to view them, as most are in storage. In Vancouver, I'd also recommend a visit to the Museum of Vancouver, which does have on display a wonderful example of the Coast Salish style canoe.

    I am here hoping to draw from some of this site's expertise in the project explained here:

    I am not an academic. Nor am I descended from a First Nation. I am a retired high school English teacher who has and continues to be a canoe and kayak racer, I have long been interested in the ancient small boats of the Northwest Coast, and have a library of at least 15 books on the subject. I also have an interest in Salish culture which stems from a history of living on or near the Tulalip reservation, as well as an obvious interest in the Indian canoe racing that still extends across the Salish Sea.

    I am looking to construct a full-sized replica of a Coast Salish style small or "hunting" canoe (20-23' in length). The dual purpose of this project is: a. To re-create and demonstrate the seaworthiness and usability of this nearly lost artifact design on the waters of the Salish Sea. and b. To paddle it for fitness and recreation as I do others at my home on Tulalip Bay on the Tulalip Indian Reservation of Washington State. A third purpose might be called a hope; and that is that my re-creation and use of this canoe might contribute to the revival of its use among First Nation people, for cultural and racing activity as well as for recreational fun. I believe that this canoe type is the Salish culture's equivalent of the modern recreational canoe, and superior to 95% of them for plying the choppy salt water of our Salish Sea.

    I am in the process of locating and trying to measure those artifacts of this style of canoe that still exist. I wish to take lines of the most promising designs and compare them, ultimately choosing or developing a hull that will have a nice balance between speed and stability. At the present time the most promising canoes of this style that I have located are these: Museum of Vancouver artifact #AA2264, Royal B.C. Museum artifact # 14111, and Canadian Museum of History artifact #VII-G-352. Lines have been taken of the first of these. I am in the process of locating or obtaining permission to take the lines of the latter two. I hope that access to this RNN account will help me to expand the catalog of existing artifact Salish style canoes, as well as inspire who-knows-what-direction of further inquiry.

    The RNN account mentioned was a bust. We'll see what this posting develops. Seems to me its all about the hulls; also seems no one looks at them in the artifacts. I own few canoes. Only one makes me feel safe in the chop. I sure can't tell the difference looking at them, nor can I read the difference in the offsets. So I hope for some guidance there. Also, I can take lines off of a boat, can loft it too, but I'd like to know what I might gain by digitizing my data, transferring it to an appropriate CAD program and how to do that.

    Here's my baby. When I get it built, I plan to take it from here on the Left Coast to the Blackburn Challenge, where I expect we'll turn a few heads and kick a lot of butt, just sayin. Tell me what you think.

    Steve

    Canadian Museum of History #VII-G-352 23’-6” x 37”






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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Bill Ried's canoe is beautiful art, but somewhat stylized for a working canoe. There is considerable variation in sea conditions here on the coast; inland river, protected waters, and outer coast. There is also considerable variation in 'west coast' canoe design, depending on the waters and the purpose it had (whaling canoes/ceremonial/inter-island/racing etc. The canoes that I made for coastal (and outer coast) exploring (and beaching in surf) did best with a higher bow, 26" depth, some rocker and some flare to the sides; (very similar to the measurements as the Haida ocean canoes had). I think Adney and Chapelle's book is one of the best sources, and would also recommend 'Crossroads of continents' although it is more about art.

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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Nice canoe plan here https://www.paddlinglight.com/articl...h-style-canoe/

    and there is a book mentioned " Coast Salish Canoes " by Leslie Lincoln
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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    There was a beauty up at the '08 PTWBF.

    IMG_2679.jpg

    Along with a lot of lovely company:

    IMG_2678.jpg

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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Thank you all for your responses:

    Peter,
    I'd really be interested in knowing more about what boats you have built and paddled on the outer coast. Modeled after native canoes? Modern designs that work well in rough water? The difference you refer to in "West Coast" designs; is that mainly in size or in lower hull form? I have seen a wide range of sizes, but generally the smaller ones seem, smaller versions. so little views and info on hulls below the waterline. Good book recommendations, thanks

    Three Cedars,
    The plan you suggested is, I am pretty sure taken from Jericho Charlie's canoe at the Museum of Vancouver. one of the ones I am looking closely at. I had the pleasure last Sunday of meeting with Leslie Lincoln at the 2018 Canoe Journey "Paddle to Puyallup." She eloquently and critically shared her lore as we walked along a row of 85 large, mostly West Coast and enlarged Salish style canoes lined up along the beach. Pretty memorable day. Thanks for the good info.
    MOV #AA2264 Jericho Charlie's 27'8.jpg Paddle to Puyallup Canoes 001.jpg

    Hugh,
    Let's hope that beauty returns to Port Townsend a decade later, I'll plan to go this year just on the chance. A Haida version of about the same size as I am looking at. Thanks
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    My apologies for the large and erratic photo postings, I'm still learning. Steve

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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Ummmm....I don't think anybody here is going to complain about pictures of boats

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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    Easy..... First, get a really big log. Next, carve away everything that doesn't look like part of one of these beautiful canoes. A bit of paint and maybe a little decorative carving and you're done!
    Todd,
    I own a copy of your book on sailing canoes, which I have mainly just looked at for the drawings - which are wonderful and inspiring eye candy.

    Many of these small "Salish Style" canoe artifacts are rigged to sail. (I say many, but really there are very few in existence) The general opinion seems to be that square rigs made from cedar bark mats were in use pre-contact, and that sprit sails came into use after.

    I continue to be struck by the apparent similarity of their hull shapes with sailing boats, more so than with most other canoe designs. See page IX of Canoe Rig: The Essence and the Art, for a good example. Do you think these canoes are going to pick up any of the hull-lengthening effect when heeled over as sailboat might? Is the design similarity mainly coincidental? The bow and stern extensions from the waterline take up about 6' of a 23' o.a. hull. Seems a lot of potential windage for an open-water (though not ocean going) boat here on Puget Sound. Will the sharp cutwater compensate for that? Will it help the canoe track?

    Steve


    RBC #14112.JPGCMH #VII-G-352 4 Port Side HiDef.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Steve you hit the jackpot meeting Leslie Lincoln perusing 85 canoes , some nice photos you took .

    this is a beautiful canoe photo taken at Nanaimo maybe 1880's ? Nanaimo Canoe.JPG
    If growth is good then how much is enough

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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    I too felt I had hit the jackpot. She is and has been a long time supporter and through her book, a guide for the Tribal Journeys and canoe culture revival that has taken place out here. But that didn't get in the way of her being a brutal critic; even of some of the more renowned designer/carvers.

    Yes, isn't this an interesting photo. I remember having seen it (It is certainly memorable), but not since I've restarted the current obsession. I've not seen another canoe or photo with the stern profile like this one. Pretty exotic total look. He seems comfortable enough, riding high in an unloaded boat.

    As I look at again, I am thinking, "Whoa. He is sitting backwards in that photo!," facing the stern. Compare the bow and stern profiles with the profile of VII-G-352 above. The ducktail stern profile's curvature (right side of picture) is more exaggerated than typical on the Nanaimo canoe, and is emphasized even more because he sits in such a way as to elevate it. Both factors, and good photography, contribute to the exotic look. Its cutwater (left side) curvature is smoother than VII-G-352's bow, but at a tighter curve than the stern (right side). . . if I am right.

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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Quote Originally Posted by Three Cedars View Post
    Steve you hit the jackpot meeting Leslie Lincoln perusing 85 canoes , some nice photos you took .

    this is a beautiful canoe photo taken at Nanaimo maybe 1880's ? Nanaimo Canoe.JPG
    This artistry is awesome

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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    [QUOTE=Steve Bennett;5640337]Thank you all for your responses:

    Peter,
    I'd really be interested in knowing more about what boats you have built and paddled on the outer coast. Modeled after native canoes? Modern designs that work well in rough water? The difference you refer to in "West Coast" designs; is that mainly in size or in lower hull form? I have seen a wide range of sizes, but generally the smaller ones seem, smaller versions. so little views and info on hulls below the waterline. Good book recommendations, thanks

    The canoes I made are base on the 6 fathom cree canoe from the lines in Adney and Chapelle's book (scaled up and with steam bent yellow cedar/planking/fabric cover); the dimensions, water entry shape and depth seem almost generic for an open water canoe (although I cheated and made them into freighters with (gasp) an outboard). My comments on the various styles of canoes are based on old village photos up and down the coast, where the canoes were scattered accross beaches in front of villages, and the canoes I have seen used locally for racing, and more recently made ones.

    swell riding.jpg

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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Quote Originally Posted by Three Cedars View Post
    Steve you hit the jackpot meeting Leslie Lincoln perusing 85 canoes , some nice photos you took .

    this is a beautiful canoe photo taken at Nanaimo maybe 1880's ? Nanaimo Canoe.JPG
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Bennett View Post
    I too felt I had hit the jackpot. She is and has been a long time supporter and through her book, a guide for the Tribal Journeys and canoe culture revival that has taken place out here. But that didn't get in the way of her being a brutal critic; even of some of the more renowned designer/carvers.

    Yes, isn't this an interesting photo. I remember having seen it (It is certainly memorable), but not since I've restarted the current obsession. I've not seen another canoe or photo with the stern profile like this one. Pretty exotic total look. He seems comfortable enough, riding high in an unloaded boat.

    As I look at again, I am thinking, "Whoa. He is sitting backwards in that photo!," facing the stern. Compare the bow and stern profiles with the profile of VII-G-352 above. The ducktail stern profile's curvature (right side of picture) is more exaggerated than typical on the Nanaimo canoe, and is emphasized even more because he sits in such a way as to elevate it. Both factors, and good photography, contribute to the exotic look. Its cutwater (left side) curvature is smoother than VII-G-352's bow, but at a tighter curve than the stern (right side). . . if I am right.
    He is sitting in the fullest part of the hull, facing the finer end. Now unless the builder was aiming for the old Elizabethan cods head and mackerel tail form, I think he is facing the front
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh MacD View Post
    There was a beauty up at the '08 PTWBF.

    IMG_2679.jpg

    Along with a lot of lovely company:

    IMG_2678.jpg
    That boat, and another dugout and a couple of umiaks, live at The Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle.

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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Quote Originally Posted by Three Cedars View Post
    Steve you hit the jackpot meeting Leslie Lincoln perusing 85 canoes , some nice photos you took .

    this is a beautiful canoe photo taken at Nanaimo maybe 1880's ? Nanaimo Canoe.JPG
    The "which way forward" question made me look more closely and is that an oarlock by his left leg? Added so you row from the center thwart?

  31. #31

    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    There are outboard applied oarlocks in front of him and he is paddling or bracing with one oar while the other one is still in it's lock. He is facing the bow but his rowing seating position is ambiguous due to the contradictory oar stowage postion and his high seating postion. Canoes were not traditionally rowed so this is an anachronistic modification.

    Salish canoes were of a huge variety of related shapes both at both stern and bow: sterns were typically of a continuous curve with the hull, but there were also many straight angled sterns, as well as recurve shapes like this Nanaimo/Cowichan model. The bow is interesting and unusual in that it has strong Northern Style references. Overall it is an unusual and beautiful composition or Salish Style variety.

    One of the key properties of the Salish Style in contrast to the Northern, Munka, Head, Nootkan, Quinault, Columbia and others was that they were formed from one log rather than pieced and sewn at the stern and bow - ie they were of a much lower profile.

    **

    The obvious advantage to digitizing these is that one can then modifiy their size and shape to fit your desired functional [or aesthetic] requirements. However one should recognize that the heights, cutwaters [depending on model, etc.] , and long overhangs were likely for reasons other than seaworthiness and speed - and so unless you are racing against type, there'll be disadvantages.

    You should also be aware that in this very recent age of group politics, especially in the humanities like these musings, you could be playing with fire. It has been humourously explained to me that these notions are in the realm of 'useless or unusable knowledge'.
    Last edited by mick allen; 08-06-2018 at 12:11 AM.
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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Good eye, Hugh.

    OK Mick,
    I think you are right about everything with one exception. I still think he is facing the stern. Along with my original rationale based on compared design, I think it works with him sitting that way regarding function as well. I can't explain the elevated seat position which, if maintained, would not seem to make for optimum rowing. But I think that his seat is perfectly positioned for the canoe to be in balance when a passenger is sitting in what I will call the aft end.
    "Typically, the rowing seat is located roughly in the center of the boat, but this isn’t always the case. The overall objective is to have the loaded" boat’s center of gravity approximately in the middle (or just aft of the middle), and this includes passengers, gear, the rower, and the boat itself. If a boat is regularly carrying a passenger or cargo, the rowing position may be situated further aft or forward to balance the load." . Also the oarlocks appear to be placed "approximately 13” back from the aft edge of the rowing seat." But where's the passenger? On the shore, of course, taking this well-planned, posed photograph.

    quotes from Angus Rowboats - Fixed Seat Rowing Geometry: https://angusrowboats.com/blogs/news/fixed-seat-rowing-geometry

    I just took a look at CMG VII-C-352 (above) again for comparison. It too has a side extension for an oar lock. Like in this photo, the rower's seat is located forward of the center, the oarlock maybe about "13" back from the aft edge" Note that the forward seat has been built flat and seat-like and is placed lower than the center two dowel-like thwarts,
    presumably to facilitate rowing comfort and efficiency. The dowel-thwarts may be more suitable in shape and position for solo paddling in a kneeling position. The rear thwart is also lowered, offering greater comfort for the passenger and more stability overall. And while I'm at it I'll speculate further that the lowered, flat front and rear thwarts seem well located for a seated duo. And if that weren't enough different possible user configurations, check out the mast hole in the front seat/thwart.

    I can't tell if the Nanaimo canoe has a fourth thwart, but it looks like there ought to be one, just out of sight, where the photographer will sit.

    That's enough fun for one evening. Thanks for provoking a closer look. I'll be wanting to get back to you, Mick, about your comments about my project.


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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Anyone know why they built them with such long overhangs at the ends? Is there a functional purpose to them that I'm not seeing?
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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianY View Post
    Anyone know why they built them with such long overhangs at the ends? Is there a functional purpose to them that I'm not seeing?
    It could be that the overhangs were functional when going into steep breaking waves; but also (perhaps more likely) the retention of a substantial forefoot and bow stern overhangs minimized the splitting of the ends risk, when the hollowed out logs were spread (with steam/heat). I have come across partially finished canoes that were abandoned after splitting the ends back in the forest (covered in moss but still quite recognizable); and I have read that this was the stage (the spreading of the sides and insertion of thwarts) most care and ceremony was devoted to.

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    Default Re: Canoe designs of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest

    Quote Originally Posted by peter osberg View Post
    It could be that the overhangs were functional when going into steep breaking waves; but also (perhaps more likely) the retention of a substantial forefoot and bow stern overhangs minimized the splitting of the ends risk, when the hollowed out logs were spread (with steam/heat). I have come across partially finished canoes that were abandoned after splitting the ends back in the forest (covered in moss but still quite recognizable); and I have read that this was the stage (the spreading of the sides and insertion of thwarts) most care and ceremony was devoted to.
    I have read that the bow overhang with its notched end was also a stowage for fishing harpoons.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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